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Automatic system to catalogue, select the quality, brand and identify leathers in tannery firms.

This project aims to define a new system to automatically
define and brand all leathers coming into the tannery and
ensure through a final check that the quality is maintained
throughout the production cycle.

The project, the only one in the world with these characteristics, involves an innovative system dedicated to quality cataloguing and the automatic branding of leathers both on arrival and departure from tanneries. The system, working continuously on a conveyor belt, comprises the following: 1) continuously moving conveyor belt; 2) an automatic device to obtain chromatic information from the leather, working continuously on a moving conveyor belt; 3) an automatic device to obtain information on the thicknesses of the leather, working continuously on a moving conveyor belt; 4) an automatic device to obtain information on the softness of the leather, working continuously on a moving conveyor belt; 5) an automatic device that, on the basis of the previously read parameters (2,3,4), finds and catalogues, in real- time, defects in the leather; 6) an automatic device that, on the basis of the previous parameters (2,3,4,5), in real-time, computes a global quality parameter, maps the leather and also selects the most appropriate application for the leather; 7) an automatic device to edge the leathers in function of the map (6), working continuously on a moving conveyor belt; 8) an automatic device to indelibly brand the leathers so the origin lot can be recognised, working continuously on a moving conveyor belt; 9) automatic device to read the brand at the end of the leather production cycle, so the origin lot can be recognised; The new system represents a great improvement in quality control procedures currently carried out manually and subjectively by expert operators. The new cataloguing system, executed before the leather is split, enables two very important results to be achieved: 1) the leather which has been split into two or three parts can be re-united. 2) The original lot of every leather can be recognised with exactitude so it will be possible to evaluate each one with precision in order to accurately check the quality of the input and output of the production system. The catalogue of leather qualities will make it possible to select a priori the best productive sector for each type of leather, thereby optimizing the tannery firms' production cycles. The same device will be inserted at the end of the leather processing cycle enabling another two very important results to be achieved: 1) it will enable the quality of the production cycle in the tannery firms to be checked so modifications can be made at points where it is not correct. 2) it will be possible to obtain, at the end of the production cycle, a complete map of the defects, thickness, softness and colour of all the leathers worked, thus ensuring that firm has a quality check for customers and may lead to the definition of an international standard of quality. In the tannery sector, this system will result in great improvements in quality control because it will already recognise the leather quality in the first selection at the beginning of the production cycle. Keywords: automatic, skin, branding.
Project ID: 
2 223
Start date: 
01-07-1999
Project Duration: 
84months
Project costs: 
11 500 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Automation, Robotics Control Systems
Market Area: 
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Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.